Yeti SB66 Review

Feb 11, 2013
by Brad Walton  
 
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TESTED
YETI
SB66
BY BRAD WALTON

Yeti's SB66 is the Colorado-based company's take on creating the ultimate all-mountain bike, one that can truly do it all. Available as an alloy or carbon frame and in a variety of trim levels, the SB66 (SB being short for 'Super Bike' ) is certainly designed with versatility in mind, but one look at the numbers on the 6" travel, 26"-wheeled bike shows there's plenty of emphasis on speed and stability for when gravity takes over. Sporting a relatively long top tube and low bottom bracket, the SB shares similar attributes to modern day downhill machines, but with Yeti's innovative 'Switch Link' suspension, which is designed to excel at both climbing and descending.

Yeti SB66 Details

• Purpose: Trail / all-mountain
• Hydroformed 6061 aluminum frame
• Rear-wheel travel: 6"/152mm
• Fox Float CTD rear shock
• Fox 34 150 CTD fork
• Switch Technology Suspension
• Tapered InSet headtube, 44/56mm
• 12 x 142mm rear axle
• Splined BB shell w/ ISCG-03/05 adapter
• Weight: 27.4 lbs (w/o pedals )
• Sizes: small, medium, large (tested ), XL
• MSRP: $6,800 USD as tested



Frame Design

Yeti has invested some quality time into the tube layout of the SB, and it shows - this is one good looking bike. Every tube on the SB66 frame is shaped differently, featuring unique manipulations for optimized
strength-to-weight advantages in all the right places. The low-slung, robust appearance beckons for fast, aggressive riding. Despite Yeti's trail-bike nomenclature, the Super Bike's alloy frame is no lightweight, at least comparatively speaking. At 7.5 lbs (with rear Fox air shock), Yeti has positioned the SB66's frame at the heavier end of the trail bike weight spectrum. Emphasis on frame rigidity for the purpose of efficient energy transfer comes at a price, and Yeti is willing to accept a weight penalty for the responsive handling of a stiff frame and suspension optimized for versatility.

Yeti SB-66
  A real headbadge signifies next level quality and we're stoked on Yeti's slick integration of graphics into the paint job

The SB66 frame is suitable for a variety of build specs. The 44/56mm tapered InSet headtube allows tapered steerer tubes to ride on bearings inside the frame, for the same low stack height regardless of fork choice. Cable routing is neat and tidy along the inside of the front triangle, with space to accommodate a dropper post cable. The rear derailleur cable is housed inside the drive side chainstay, and this same chainstay is protected by a custom chain-slap guard. Front derailleur adjustment is a no-brainer with direct mounting onto the frame. The SB66 also features interchangeable dropouts for a 135mm quick-release or 12 x 142mm rear axle.

Yeti SB-66 12x142 axle
  Rear dropouts on the SB66 are clean and simple, making wheel installation/removal a breeze. The parts are interchangeable for 135 or 142mm axles.

Super Bike Suspension

The highlight of Yeti's SB series is their Switch suspension design. Yeti employs a rotating main pivot that is mounted on an eccentric, allowing it to change direction in order to react to opposing suspension forces. The eccentric assembly continuously repositions the lower pivot of the swing arm throughout the range of travel. Acting as a dual link design, it allows the early stages of travel to guide the lower pivot of the swing arm rearward, lengthening the chainstay. Unlike earlier renditions of rearward axle path designs that elicit unusually high amounts of chain growth and thus kickback characteristics, Switch Technology's eccentric pivot, as the name implies, changes direction deeper into the travel. This late stage reversal removes all such chain forces from the suspension, allowing the rear end to be fully active from mid to end stroke. It's a brilliant concept, but as moving parts will have their way over time, we were skeptical of the eccentric's durability.

Yeti SB-66 linkage
 Switch Technology promises the best of uphill and downhill performance with an eccentric link that switches direction. Seem complicated? It isn't. Fox Float CTD air shocks front and rear offer a range of compression settings for those who want a firmer pedaling platform for longer climbs.
Switch Technology promises the best of uphill and downhill performance with an eccentric link that switches direction. Seem complicated? It isn't. Fox Float CTD air shocks front and rear offer a range of compression settings for those who want a firmer pedaling platform for longer climbs.

Yeti SB66 Component Check

The SB66 is available as a frame only or in a variety of trim options. Given the choice, we went with Shimano's top shelf XTR kit. Blinging chrome finish aside, our performance expectations were substantial with Shimano's top-level component group. Fox air shocks front and rear with Kashima coating nicely complement the looks of the SB66, and at 150mm front and rear travel, should provide a balanced, efficient feel that can be switched to Climb mode for those relentless ascents. The DT-Swiss M-1700 Tricon wheels, recommended by Yeti for their excellent strength-to-weight ratio and deadly reliability, seem a worthy fit for the SB given its all-mountain intent, and have the capability of going tubeless. Maxxis Ardent tires, a 2.4 front with 2.25 rear, suggest a bike ready to go fast both up and down. A Thomson stem and seatpost seem like a no-brainer on a bike of this caliber. A Race Face SixC carbon handle bar provides stiff steering control with excellent weight advantages over alloy. To finish things off, a Chris King headset shows that Yeti isn't messing around when it comes to a high-end build. No expense is spared on this $6,800 USD bike.

 Stiff, snappy, crisp. No, we're not talking about pickles. It's XTR, and once you've tried it, it's hard to ride anything else.
Stiff, snappy, crisp. No, we're not talking about pickles. It's XTR, and once you've tried it, it's hard to ride anything else.

 A DT-Swiss M-1700 Tricon wheelset is the perfect match for the SB's all-mountain intent. Sealed bearings with DT's legendary ratchet driver mated to tubeless ready rims.
A DT-Swiss M-1700 Tricon wheelset is the perfect match for the SB's all-mountain intent. Sealed bearings with DT's legendary ratchet driver mated to tubeless ready rims.


Specifications
Price $6800
Travel 152mm
Rear Shock Fox Float CTD
Fork FOX 34 150mm CTD
Headset Chris King
Crankarms Shimano XTR (26-38)
Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR 10 speed
Front Derailleur Shimano XTR
Shifter Pods Shimano XTR
Handlebar Race Face SixC
Stem Thomson
Grips Yeti Lock-On
Brakes Shimano XTR
Wheelset DT Swiss M-1700 Tricon
Tires Maxxis Ardent, 2.4 Front, 2.25 Rear
Seat WTB Yeti Branded
Seatpost Thomson


Riding the SB66

 The SB66's stiff frame and efficient suspension makes for a nimble, poppy machine. All-mountain riding never seemed quite so effortless.
The SB66's stiff frame and efficient suspension makes for a nimble, poppy machine. All-mountain riding never seemed quite so effortless.

Trail Rider's Geometry

Geometry for the SB66 is quite long, so long in fact that some riders may question whether Yeti's sizing is off by one whole size. With a tester height of 6'2", we fell right in line with Yeti's recommended size large frame with a 25" top tube length, which is about an inch (one size) longer than most other frames in its category. The reason for this is to maximize the advantage of a short stem when taking into account the SB66's other measurements. When working with a slack head angle that effectively stabilizes steering at speed, it makes sense to have the most precise steering ability possible. For climbing, the longer wheelbase combined with a short stem centers a rider's weight between the axles, having an effect similar to riding with a longer stem. It took some adjustment and a swap to a 50mm stem, but over time we grew to love the SB66's fit for trail riding.

We felt more centered in the SB frame than most bikes we've ridden. The SB66 seems most comfortable on rolling terrain, as its roomy cockpit leaves arms outstretched without much elbow bend due to the bike's overall length. As stable as it feels even in mid-flight, our size large bike did sometimes feel as if we were riding a size too big. While the SB66 is designed to handle best at speed, we found that even on technical terrain we were able to maintain the centered, in-the-bike feel, although this comfort comes at the cost of slightly reduced handling abilities in tight terrain. Only on the steepest of climbs did the bike give the slightest notion of backseat driving, which usually led to us taking a brief, and usually welcome, out-of-the-saddle position.

It's hard to say that Yeti's long geometry is 'wrong'. Perhaps we've just become accustomed to bikes that are too short. The fact is, the SB66 is designed to go fast with a balance between uphill and downhill capability. Fittingly, Yeti's bike is designed to excel in the environment where the company is based - Colorado. Of all the traits of the SB66 to consider, the one characteristic that makes the bike unique is the fit. It's a bike designed with stability in mind, so by nature it has a longer overall feel.

 The secret to riding the SB66 is to go fast. Pushed hard into its mid-stroke, the Super Bike holds an uncanny line in rough terrain.
The secret to riding the SB66 is to go fast. Pushed hard into its mid-stroke, the super bike holds an uncanny line in rough terrain.

Climbing

As most rides start out with a climb up a mountain, we were instantly in awe over the super bike's energy transfer on rough, technical uphills. Pedal power digs the rear tire into the ground hard, resulting in some wildly impressive climbing ability for a 6" bike. Many riders will appreciate the rear-shock's CTD lever, which can be used to cancel out the SB66's small amount of pedal bob on long climbs. We found the bike to offer plenty of efficiency in the fully active mode, which also leaves less to think about on the ride. Adding to the bike's impressive suspension while climbing is the notably long top tube which spreads out the wheelbase. This added length offers a more centered weight balance than a typical short-stemmed bike which results in added climbing traction.

One Stiff Chassis

Some riders will criticize Yeti for the SB66's frame weight of 7.5 lbs with rear shock. While there are many competitors offering lighter options, there aren't many offering such a stiff and responsive frame. The only way we were able to get away with pushing the SB66 as hard as we did was our confidence in the frame. Whether out-of-the-saddle hammering or pushing hard into corners, the Yeti doesn't flinch laterally. Power transfer is the name of the game with this bike. After fully adapting to the bike's handling we found ourselves considering the carbon version, which we've been told is no less stiff or confidence inspiring, but weighs 1.5 pounds less.

We found the SB66 to be geared more towards high-speed trail riding, and if we had the carbon frame version, we would just throw away our XC bike. However, the long feel of the frame, while adding stability at speed, makes the bike feel a bit awkward in the air, and places the SB66 more in the trail bike category. It's also a challenge to handle on tight switchbacks and in tight trees, due to the longer wheelbase. It was immediately apparent from the first ride that the Yeti is from Colorado, where all-out speed negates the need for tight handling characteristics.

 The SB66's geometry keeps riders stretched out and centered between the axles. Although quite stable, the long fit can seem cumbersome at times.
The SB66's geometry keeps riders stretched out and centered between the axles. Although quite stable, the long fit can seem cumbersome at times.

Descending

Yeti's Switch Technology seems to settle in best around the mid-stroke of the bike's travel. Off the top on technical trails, the rear shock doesn't offer much forgiveness. Tight trails keep the bike high in its travel, sometimes even hanging up unexpectedly on the odd root. Looking for improved handling? Ride faster - the SB66 isn't the best bike for casual meandering. Yeti's Super Bike is meant for speed, and it's obvious once we moved into wide open terrain. It doesn't seem to matter how steep the trail gets, as long as we were off the brakes it was possible to confidently cruise at speeds normally reserved for a heavier bike with more travel.

We were initially skeptical of the Switch Technology rotating pivot mainly due to the potential for contamination and wear. During the first dozen rides, we got a sharp squeak sound toward the end of our descents. Eventually the sound went away on its own and hasn't come back. Despite countless rides in everything from dust to straight up rain, some snow, and lots of mud, and afterwards directly spraying the pivot with water to clean the bike, we had no issues whatsoever with sounds, gritty feel, or any lack of performance due to contamination in the long run. Removing the rear shock after months of testing revealed smooth bearing action that is as good as new. At least for our test SB66 pivot maintenance is a non-issue.

Component Report

In one word: Superb. Yes, it's a heck of a pile of money, but for anyone who takes mountain biking seriously, that is, breathes mountain biking through their soul, it's worth splurging for the best components and never looking back. From the day we built the bike to nearly 50 rides later, we didn't have to tighten a single bolt, adjust a single component, or even retension or true a wheel. We're finally at the point of needing to replace brake pads, and we did get one flat tire throughout the test, but generally speaking, this is a low-maintenance setup that performs perfectly.

Shimano's XTR group is an absolute pleasure to use - we would even go so far as to call it flawless. It's ghostly intuitive, and incredibly refined. Anyone who hasn't tried Shimano's single-finger brake lever is missing out in life. Brake modulation is as close to perfect as we can imagine, and offers plenty of power. Shifting is super crisp and accurate. And those DT wheels, wow. Tire selection proved to be appropriate for all conditions, with the larger 2.4 Ardent taking the lead over the smaller, faster rolling 2.25 rear. Aside from the lack of a dropper post and chainguide (we dropped the chain more often than we would like, until adding a Blackspire Twinty2X guide which also protects the chainring) the component spec on our test bike is absolutely perfect.


Pinkbike's take:
The SB66 was love at first sight. Long and low with plenty of standover, incredibly advanced suspension, a top-shelf build kit, and a dramatically shaped tubeset coated in Yeti's signature turquoise color scheme had us head-over-heels right out of the box. The combination of frame stiffness and an efficient suspension platform create an extremely responsive bike that begs to be ridden fast, up and down. Cross-country riders that don't race and are considering adding a bike in this segment to their fleet should just save up for the SB66c carbon frame and toss all their other bikes out the window. While we would have preferred a slightly shorter cockpit length for technical handling and small bits of airtime, the SB66 is hard to beat for a straight-up mountain bike. For get on and go functionality and reliability, this very well could be the most versatile bike we've tested. -Brad Walton


www.yeticycles.com
Must Read This Week

275 Comments

  • + 173
 It's nice to at least learn a few things about a bike that I can't afford....
  • + 31
 Less than 3 months ago I saw a used one on auction on ebay - for 6500$... almost brand new complete with ENVE rims - in the description the man stated: new with this setup 9000$, selling only because I want the new carbon one.
  • + 36
 Yeti offers the SB 66 in an X7/X9 build for $3700. It's very reasonable, in my opinion, and leaves room for upgrades down the road.
  • - 50
 I currently have a carbon SB-66 for sale in BuySell under XC/All-mountain bikes. $4700. Check it out!
  • + 2
 So a guy takes a $2500 cut of a new bike price, to replace frame with carbon one? Instead of selling the frame and buying a new one for an extra $1K. Smart businessman.
  • + 9
 He most likely works at a shop so he's actually making some money Axxe. If not, he has too much money to know what to do with it.
  • + 10
 I always hate it when someone is selling a bike like the Nomad Carbon or SB-66 Carbon and its a great deal, like sometimes over 50% off, yet its still five grand.
  • + 16
 you guys are all cool i'm stuck with a 600 buck xc hardtail hahaha the joys of a teenager
  • + 10
 although, its better than nothing of course X)
  • + 7
 The bike looks awesome and it felt pretty good too. I put my legs over the alloy SB-66 yesterday and checked out the carbon frame. I notice that there was no ISCG mounts on the frame. The main thing stopping me from buying one is the 2 year warranty. Santa Cruz Nomad has 5 year warranty. I tend to ride like a tard, and want to have confidence the company will back up it's product with confidence and a good warranty.
  • + 2
 rjscherbaum - LuxuRY! When I was your age I lived in a lake and rode a bike made of straw!
  • - 26
 rsjcherbaum I have a similar problem. Got a $500 xc hardtail that I use for jumping, and an $1100 hardtail 29 for XC
  • - 27
 I've upgraded the 26 though
  • - 29
 Who just went and neg-propped all my comments for no reason...
  • + 2
 @ abzillah, There is a removable plate on the driveside of the BB that can be swapped with one with a guard mount, you probably have to pay for the switch though.
  • + 0
 Blah Blah Blah!
  • + 1
 "ride like a tard" HaHa! Me too!
[Reply]
  • + 59
 Nearly 7000 dollors and not a dropper post in site
  • + 8
 I was just shocked that PB didn't mention it!
  • - 63
 After Hite-Rite's faded out of popularity, riders went over a decade ignoring dropping seatposts just FINE. If anything has been a fad designed to suck money away from riders, its dropper posts.
  • + 14
 I disagree deedight. It's like me saying that the 650B trend is fad and is to suck money away from 26ers, but we both know that's not the case. Different stroke for different folks. The droppers are getting better and better.
  • + 35
 I totally disagree. I don't even like to ride without one anymore...even on trails where it is not necessary. Dropper posts (setup and working properly) are worth every penny.
  • + 20
 To be fair to Yeti, we did take them to task a bit on the lack of a dropper post in the review of their SB95. But yes, the SB66 should come with a dropper as well.
  • + 6
 Really Deeeight? Comparing hardtail technology to full suspension bikes.

Today's long travel trail bikes ride much higher than bikes designed in the hits ride day. So the standard move back behind the seat post doesn't do the trick anymore. The trick is to move back and down.

Now you can argue that it can be done manually, but the ride seems to flow much better when you don't have stop and readjust all the time.
IMO, flow is priceless on a ride.
  • + 11
 @TheCOJayhawk

"Aside from the lack of a dropper post and chainguide...the component spec on our test bike is absolutely perfect."

it's in the last paragraph before the PB Take.
  • + 1
 we'll forgive the lack of chain guide because with the new expensive (but worth every penny) clutch type rear mech a chain guide shouldn't be needed as there is mean't to be zero chain slap for that kind of money.
  • + 3
 it makes sense that this bike doesn't come with a dropper because it has shimano spec'd everywhere else. the reverb was the best post on the market when these were released, and next year it the demographic would probably consider the thompson or something i look at the lack of dropper like i do the lack of pedals on many bikes. its an option riders may want to shop around on
  • + 1
 I don't want to shop around if the it costs less OEM, reverb, thompson, or LEV they're all fine with me!
  • - 5
 I bet that Im the only person on here who actually agrees with @deeeight 's comment about droppers
okay go on negative prop me...
  • + 0
 Still happy with my Thomson also. Really don't understand why anyone would want that much weight located so high on the frame when after going to such lengths to design frames with low bb's and suspension mass?
  • + 1
 no riley, tbh my reverb didn't change my life, I need a post that goes up alot faster and that goes down with another button at an even faster speed, otherwise pushing the button is too much hassle
  • - 1
 deeight - I thought you like things you remember from times when you were young, things that got lost for decades and now are brought up to light again, finaly getting the "deserved" attention... like 650B Big Grin
  • + 2
 I agree with Deeeight, too. Keep in mind that his comment has two parts: the first part is that the Hite Rite went out of vogue, and nobody thought anything otherwise for over a decade. Argue that. You can't. I'd get a dropper post, except they cost a lot, and they'd add 1/2 lb. (high end models) to 3/4 lb. (low end models) to my bike. I ride, and I have fun, plain and simple. Dropper posts are not for everybody. Oh, I still run tubes and an 8-speed drivetrain. Horrors!
  • + 3
 Tom - droppers are definitely not for everybody. Definitely not for people who climb for an hour just to descent and don't ride mountain ridges much. I'd argue that an amateur going for a MTB race will gain more advantage of it on XC course than on Enduro race. You need often changes of terrain pitch to really appreciate what droppers give. I think XCO boys will finaly pick it up how much you gain with a "staggering" 300g weight gain. Especially with XX1 shaving some 100g + of lightest front mech contraptions. Front-mech-hate FTW!

Oh and you are nto up to date with your sarcasm - tubeless is so last few years - it's sub 70g Eclipse tubes from Switzerland that are going to be in fashion this year. In fact I will be buying three for my 29er... Ah can't wait for See Potter Cycle Fashion Show! Cycle Haute Cuture at it's best! Rumour has it that Shmox will present their Enduro racing specific fork with new eliptical 15-17.5mm axle, designed specificaly to work with 650B rims
  • + 2
 Waki, I lol'd at your comments. priceless
[Reply]
  • + 16
 It's so good to read a review on my bike, and agree with it! Versatility is what really marks the SB66 out as a 'Superbike'. The last 2 rides I've done on mine were a gnarly, rocky, flat out uplift day (Antur Stiniog), and a 40km sub-zero grind through horizontal hail in the Cambrian Mountains (Nant y Arian 'Killer' Loop). Literally the only thing I changed on my SB66 was the pedals. Surely that's what 'All Mountain' is really supposed to be about?

www.pinkbike.com/photo/9041507
  • + 8
 It'd better be a superbike if it costs that much. Mind you, you'd get a proper 1000cc superbike for not much more.
  • + 5
 That is complete horsesh*t. A new R1 is £13,000 (British pounds). Even a cost-no-object SB66 build is only about £5500. That's a huge difference.
  • + 5
 you get what you pay for. Yeti is well made, well engineered, and comes with an amazing parts spec. Ive loved every yeti I've ever ridden or owned.
  • + 8
 Tomki, even if you could get a 1000c superbike for that much, you'll be getting your girlfriend more sprung over your gnarly biker's butt by pedaling yourself around.
  • + 1
 Yeah, you go ahead and find a brand new 1000cc superbike with top of the line kit on it for that price, as well as a reputation to match yeti. Go ahead tomki.
  • + 1
 a pinarello dogma is more expensive then a stock moto... but the most expensive mtb I can think of is the session 9.9 (mind you I haven't looked at top end xc bikes) and thats the 10,000 USD mark, so yeah good luck finding a good (emphasis on good) moto for that
  • + 1
 britt-100 Have you ridden the SB66 on real muddy UK trails yet, and if yes, any concerns about mud clearance with rear wheel?
  • + 2
 Yeah, it's been out in some really shitty occasions. There's loads of clearance, no problems at all.

I only run Mountain King 2.2 tyres, which are pretty small for this type of bike, but I would be confident running 2.4's for all round, and 2.5's for DH/uplifted riding.
[Reply]
  • + 14
 Bike prices are like gas prices, instead of dropping slowly to gain your business they're slowly rising to see what they can get away with.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 I rode my friend's SB-66 and my alloy Nomad on the same trail. Both had the rp-23 shock. There was no question about it... at speed over rocks, roots, and the rough, the SB-66 was easily more "lively" and allowed me to ride faster.
  • + 8
 wow, that is a statement!
  • + 12
 Is there a chance that your rp-23 isn't configured and tuned as well as the rp-23 of your friend?
  • + 1
 @rattpoison can you give me any more info on the sizing of these 2 you tried and is the SB actually alot longer? ( were you on medium by chance?)
im currently deciding on a 150-160mm bike,
list so far is
SB66
nomad
TR covert
lapierre spicy
  • + 5
 Unfortunately both bikes were smalls. I believe that both bikes felt similar, sizing wise for the size small. I rode both bikes extensively: Stevens Pass black diamond line, one of the PNW's rooty, rocky trail that sometimes doubles as a creek(thus the rocks).

You know, I was thinking about the shock, as well. My Nomad was less than 1 year old, with mild use. The shock had the boost valve and XV sleeve with an orange sticker on it for some reason from Competitive Cyclist. The SB-66 had been a demo, but looked like it was in perfect condition. It did, however, have the kashima coating, and my Nomad did not.... but I doubt that equated to the difference. Volume spacers in my Nomad's rp23 made it worse, to my surprise... perhaps a more linear coil would make it feel more lively? My Nomad felt like it "sunk" into its travel and rode much lower, even when I was at the recommended sag. The SB-66 didn't seem to have that wallowing-deep in the travel feel relative to my Nomad. That's just my experience.
  • - 55
 "The SB-66 was easily more "lively" and allowed me to ride faster."
That is a bold statement considering you haven't identified anything else that was similar except for the rear shock. Simply having the same shocks cannot determine if one bike is truly more "lively" than the other. Were both bikes the same size? Did both bikes have the suspension set up for your weight? Were they both running the same tires?
In order to make such a claim, you must have as many controlled variables and only one independent variable (different bikes) and one dependent variable (the liveliness). The number of independent variables you have that could possibly affect the one dependent variable is very high. With a hypothesis as loosely backed up as yours, its hard to believe the SB-66 was more "lively" than the Nomad. Only when you have a SB-66 and an alloy Nomad with exactly the same components and geometry set up to handle the same, as well as the bike set up for one rider to test, you can make a valid conclusion regarding the liveliness of each bike.
  • + 54
 What the hell? Are you high? All I expressed was my experience riding the 2 bikes. I already mentioned what the sizes were. Controlled variables? Are you high? I'm not writing a goddamn review.. I'm making a comment! It was more lively to me. That's a fact. I rode faster with the SB-66. That's a fact. Is one bike definitively better than the other? I don't know, but this how I felt after riding the 2 bikes side-by-side. Chill the @$%% out internet comment police.
  • + 4
 The nomad is horrible with the rp-23! At least I thought so, and there's a lot of Internet chatter claiming the same as well. Push industries "nomad link" let's you put a coil shock on and it's pretty awesome once ya do. No more wallowing in the travel or sitting. Low. It's just so much better.
  • + 1
 Yeah! Chill out!
  • + 3
 @goonrider , dude if you are considering the tr covert take a look at TITUS EL GUAPO , i bought one for 800$ (frame,brand new), this bike kicks ass and you don't need a loan to buy one, as far as frame size i'm 179 cm and i'm always between sizes i went with a M and i like it a LOT!!! , and people wake up there is no such thing as a "one bike" it will always will be a compromise between uphill and downhill .
and if you insist on this sb66 then lookup "decathlon rockrider 9.1" same suspension for a fraction of the price plus they did it first.(maybe in a couple of years yeti will reinvent gt's idrive Smile )
  • + 8
 I have owned and ridden a SB66 for over a year then swapped the components over to a Nomad carbon. While the SB66 was a very nice riding bike I agree with the review here. You need to ride the bike hard to get the suspension to work well otherwise it will hang up on roots and rocks and stumble around. The initial stroke is very firm and has a bit too much pedal kickback. I swapped the rear shock to a Monarch plus which helped quite a bit but still found the bike tough to handle on rougher climbs.
After my SB66 self destructed (constant bearing problems with the dime sized mail pivot bearings and multiple racks in the frame) I sold my warrantied frame and swapped directly over to the Nomad. The Nomad is better in every riding condition especially with the Monarch shock. While I prefer the longer top tube of he SB66, the Nomad's suspension is smoother up chundery climbs and uses its travel much better on the DH runs.
It is a bit tough to compare the aluminum Yeti to the carbon Santa Cruz but I'm familiar enough with the suspension action of both to make a valid comparison. On top of that, SC's bearing design is far superior with regards to the size of the bearings used and the ability to use a grease gun to service the lower link bearings. Add to that a much better warranty and I'm very glad I sold the Yeti.

Edit: my XL SB66 frame was 9.5lbs with the RP23 shock. That's heavier than any frame I've owned except for my VPFree and far heavier than Yeti's claimed weight. Very disappointing.
  • + 3
 I did the same thing. Rode both bikes on the same trail. and the Yeti was better. IMO>
  • - 7
 Seriously, the nomad is a large travel XC bike. The SB-66 is a short travel DH bike.
  • + 0
 Seriously, the Nomad Carbon can be setup for anything, I have a Lyric DH an angleset and some offset bushing, I have a rp23 with a volume spacer and this bike rip sthe DH, I can ride the same trails than with a v10 but I can climb back and ride again.. I never rode the Sb66 but the geometry suggest it has a more XC feel. I think the sb66Carbon looks awesome and I was in love for a while but all the user reviews I read made me think this bike want be a good substitute for my Nomad.
  • + 1
 bogey hi i have done the same thin sold my alu nomad for my Sb which it too self destructed but finally sold my SB and got a brand new nomad c it is on another level
  • + 2
 Good to know as I am considering a 66! My Yeti ASR-7 is a lot more fun to ride than the carbon Nomad I had!
  • + 1
 I'm getting the SB66 with a Lyric DH and Vivid air. I'll let you know how it does on the DH.
  • + 1
 I took a SB-66 and a 575 out on the weekend. I didn't like the SB-66 but loved the 575. The trail wasn't a very hard trail at all, the 575 was a hell of a lot better. There was a bit of a rough climb ant SB-66 was just a drag, where as the 575 just flew up, going across the flat was the same, and what shocked me the most was the fact that the 575 was a hell of a lot faster going down the hill, through the bermed hairpin bends it was the same story. If I was to consider getting a SB-66 it would have to be cheaper than the 575. Don't flame me for my personal experience, but I'm now saving for a 575.
  • + 1
 I also owned a 575 and it was a great bike with very good, linear suspension qualities compared to the SB66. Maybe not as fast on the downhills but certainly a better all around bike.
  • + 3
 I absolutely LOVE my 575. It climbs like a champ, goes down ultra plush, or can be set up to run all day with a little more air in the shocks. Problem is it is getting old ('06) and the head angle has dated geometry that has been bugging me for a while (69 degrees). Got Talas forks for it last summer, but want something a little slacker. '
So I'm looking for a new bike with all the cool new stuff. Tapered head tube, ISCG mounts, Dropper post guides, AND a 66/67 degree head angle. After riding a few different bikes I'm thinking a NEW 575 with an angleset might be it. I think it would be around 66.5 degrees with one installed. If you have never ridden a Yeti 575, you should consider it. They have been around this long for a reason- they are awesome.
  • + 1
 That's a good list goonrider, add the pivot Mach 5.7c or firebird to it. Gotta love the DW.
  • + 1
 I have a couple of mates that ride firebirds and love them, it was for that reason I ended up going with the mojo hd, the DW link sold me. I came of a giant reign xo and loved it, but the DW is on another level.
  • + 1
 Yep, I didn't have the opportunity to test the SB66, but for tight new england trails the Mach 5.7c is just about perfect. Even fun up at Highland (although I don't do big drops)... lifties kept lifting my bike up to see how light it was every time we got to the top!
  • + 1
 do many 160mm AM bikes come with coil front and rear?
I would love to find a nice one, i really want a coil AM machine!
  • - 8
 Alright, all I said was you simply can't judge the two bikes like that. Everyone has their own opinions and I personally think the Nomad is better. Just because I feel that way does not mean anything.
Also, I never flipped my s**t. Your statement about me being high and for me to chill the f**k out stands a reason for me to think you should calm down.
  • + 1
 I know the mojo HD comes with the option of a dhx coil rear shock and you can suit yourself up front. I 'd imagine other manufacturers would offer a similar option.
  • + 4
 Tsetse the reason he asked if you were high was because you went into a rant about how to conduct a laboratory experiment, when all he said was his opinion after a ride. Furthermore, if your reaction was inspired by your own preference of the nomad, surely that bias discounts any so-called 'objectivity' when it comes to comparing rides.
  • + 2
 You have a point. And there may have been a slim chance I was high when I wrote that comment haha
  • + 1
 Don't forget the Turner 5.Spot DW. It has to be the stiffest chassis I've rode to date. Coming off a '07 575 I was blown away at what the 5 Spot can handle. Not to mention the frames are hand built in the USA.
  • + 1
 No. You have to build it. I have an HD full coil with an angleset... Ultimate am machine!
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  • + 7
 I really Hope decathlon sold well this concept www.ab-velo.com/image/photo_b-twin-decathlon-rockrider-er2-m-xl_1390_2.jpg
This concept isn't new (2006 or something like this )
  • + 0
 Yeti's pivot goes back down on the end of the travel. Big difference.
  • + 1
 whats with the metal square sticking up on that? looks pointless...
  • + 1
 nvm, to clear the seat tube.
  • + 1
 So does the rockrider
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  • + 6
 After a years happy riding I sold my Meta AM Frame and bought an SB66c Frame. I had recently moved to a slightly less hilly area, where my day to day riding is more short up and downs single track, but i still wanted a 6" bike for weekend visits to the hills and trips to the Alps in the summer. The Meta was amazing going down hill but despite the efficiency of the suspension set up it was still a bit of grind going up. With this in mind i figured i would probably only lose a couple of hundred quid selling one on Ebay to by another.

Prior to buying the SB66c i rode about a half dozen demos, including Transition Covert, Specialized Enduro, Lapierre Spicy and Nomad c. I got the shortlist down to the Nomad c, Spicy and SB66c, which were all amazing, but plumped for SB66c because it had the low slung geometry similar to my Meta, light weight and i liked the slightly longer stretched out feel (as i do have two slightly dodged vertebra). As i say all of these bikes were brilliant going up and down hills, so i think for me it really did come down to what suited me best.

In terms of fit, I am just under 5' 8" and weigh about 152 lbs and i went from a medium meta AM to a small SB66c.

If you are interested you can see pics on my profile and the mainly fox, shimano spec works great, but especially love the KS Lev (bullet proof compared to previous reverbs), the Shadow + as i havent dropped the chain once and the Syntace wheels (which replaced Reynold AM wheels with shockingly bad/ unreliable free hub)

The only thing i would change is the diet of bread and water which i have been on while i try in recoup my finances : )
  • + 1
 teknorob,
What made you choose the small over the large? I'm almost the size as you (though a bit lighter and just over 5' 8") and I'm leaning toward the medium.
  • + 1
 I'm 5'9" and stuck between a Small and Medium. The bike shop said the sizings are big and recommend a Small. The even said an Orange M and is the same as Yeti S. I'm not sure how much merit is in that claim. But I want something that's good for twisty tight trails
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  • + 5
 I own one, i concur with this review on the whole. It's absolutely right on the descending section, is harsh at the top, just means you're going too slow. A trait of the firmer top also means it's amazing for pumping, you can generate so much speed with this thing. It also makes it amazing for jumping, a bit more top push off of wich i really appreciate being a BMXer. On the sizing side too, im 5ft10, test rode a medium, too big for me, bought a small, more than happy. I ride DH tracks, chilling with people on DH bikes, i do significant gaps and drops, i bimble around the local woods, the sb really doesn't feel overly lacking anywhere. I really, really like mine. Forgot to say, i havent ridden anything that allows you sprint out of the saddle as well as one of these.
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  • + 5
 bought myself an sb-66 last week, goes uphill like a hardtail, handles anything ive thrown at it going down. all in all, super fun bike that is already making a noticable positive difference in my riding. this bike is fassssst.
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  • + 4
 I have a slightly different set-up myself, but I can't recommend these bikes more. I sold my DH rig in favour of an SB-66 and wouldn't go back!

www.pinkbike.com/photo/8948323
  • + 2
 That's a fine frame/fork/wheel combo! I couldn't have chosen better myself!
www.pinkbike.com/photo/9041507
  • + 1
 @ brokenminds

How is the cane creek air! I wanted one but my folks said it might make the bike more lean towards Dh rather than trail! I have a demo as well and they said they would prefer if I kept the 2 bikes for different riding.

I'm still trying to convince them
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  • + 3
 How to lose weight in one efficient step: buy a 7k bike and drink water. Are we going to see 17k bikes as a norm in 5-10 years time? Will we become the sport of rich and "bike brand famous"? Nice bike but: when do you ride if you have to work 24/7 to afford it?
  • + 2
 I think if we don't support the companies that are successful in the road market that make mtb it might keep the prices down, try kicking a guy off of his trek/specialized though it's like trying to put an apple fan on Android
  • + 1
 remember road bikes can cost up to $15000, and for the most part those ones aren't even UCI legal. a niche brand in a niche market with top of the line components is gonna cost a lot. If you wanted a sport scar, you could buy a BRX/FRS/GT86 for 27000 or a lambo or ferrari for 200000+
  • + 2
 fuck the uci, but if we go the way of road bikes are bikes will start costing heavily to
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  • + 3
 Somehow I'd love to have a bike like that but I also can't help thinking there's some sort of fail somewhere in this bike. I'm not trolling just thinking: how come they went to the conclusion such an efficient bike, so fast downhill, so stiff and everything, would have a good geometry with... a fox 32?! Such a heavy frame matching this light and way too flexy fork? Yes, now there's the 34 which seems to be a good option. But when the bike was launched there was no 34 available. And maybe I don't want a 34 but prefer keep my 36. OK, I can bring it down to 150 and reach an almost acceptable seat angle. But may be I don't want that, or maybe I want another 160 mm fork I can't bring down to 160. It would surely be a gorgeous set up to ride down hill but uphill?? You would end up with a SA of about 70.5°. In other words, if you're more than 180 cm high (maybe even 175) as so as you'll ride a section which is a bit steep you'll fight against back flips! Or do the guys at yeti push their bike uphill?
Whatever, same bike characteristics with 73° SA with a 160 mm fork would make it a killer. At least for me!
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  • + 3
 I've had this bike about 7mos now and ride it in very technical terrain - UP and DOWN. Speed is my friend, but I'm a very slow climber as I like my climbs steep and tough. I've ridden this bike (with a custom mostly X0 build, havoc stem, Deity blacklabel bars) on everything from long XC rides with my 29er friends to racing DH at Angelfire. I've had 575's since 2007 and ended up upgrading to the 66a on a warranty deal. I can say that the 575 feels more plush in bumps of all kinds, but the 66 kicks it in when needed. I couldn't love this thing more and feel the review is dead on, with the exception of how it handles in the techy stuff. I seek out the techy stuff as my 66 makes it more fun!!!
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  • + 3
 FWIW, I am currently on a "AM" bike that is slacker in the front end and bit lower with 160 fork and inch shorter top tube, but rides better going up/down while being in the attack position (due to long reach) while descending without having the drop the front end due to steep seat tube angle. I feel I can ride the bike equally well both going up/down without having to lower the fork all the time like I did on the SB. Don't get me wrong, the SB is a quite the versatile trail machine and pedals fantastically, good descender and was a fun machine to ride over the past year. But, I found it to be fairly maintenance intensive for me due to all the bearings going out on me at various times. Had some frame failures that Yeti always took good care of me very promptly. I think the switch-link offers some great things with riding, but there are some quirks as well such as the "switch" that occurs at 100mm travel where it goes from counterclockwise to clockwise rotation cause a lot of motion on the chain and extra wear and tear on all moving parts as well. For some reason, I snapped more rear der. cables and replace more DU bushings than any other bike I owned that was slowed some when going to 3-piece shock mounting hardware and this bike REQUIRES a clutch-type derailleur, period! I even wore out a Saint 9-spd rear derailleur from all the motion at the chain and pull on the lower pulley. Good bike, good review, but bike has it's quirks and probably not for everybody, especially at above price tag.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Yeti made some changes to the bearing design and I haven't heard of any of the new bikes having issues.

I've been riding since the early 90s and before I bought my SB66 (XT Build Kit), I rode every trail bike I could get my hands on. Nothing was really even close to as good as this bike. There may be some that do one thing or another better but nothing does everything as well as it does.

It does reward those who ride faster, this is not a granny gear cruising down the trail kind of bike, it wants you to push it hard. I'm not saying you can't ride it slow but its certainly not as fun.

It is a little long for the tight stuff but they way they build trails here in the Southeast U.S. there isn't any tight stuff anymore so I guess it doesn't matter. On the switch backs you just need to toss it in harder.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Yeti is that kind of frames which looks like as usual on photos, BUT when u take it into ur hands u understand how cool they're! i've got yeti 575 with carbon rear triangle, and this frame is perfectly made! I've got also intense and yeti looks like muck cooler than socom. But on photos everything is different.
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  • + 3
 Not sure where PB testers are riding in CO but all-out speed certainly does NOT "negate" tight handling characteristics. Everything on the Front Range has at least a gazillion switchbacks...
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  • + 2
 These Prices are turning mt. biking into a yuppy rich mans hobby. Im so embarrassed to tell anyone how much I paid for my enduro, and that shit was used, made in taiwan! What a fukin rip off.

How can you turn anyone on to a sport that you got to take out a second mortgage for just to get some hardware?
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  • + 2
 I saw two of these bikes gracefully sitting upon their thrown of a brand new Subaru sti in Boone, NC about 3 months ago. One of the sickest sights my eyes have encountered. All that was running through my head was how incredibly amazing it would be to float down a mountain on that piece of perfection
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  • + 2
 Stiff??? yes... good looking??? to me yes... plush??? Not at all. I'm a fairly heavy guy at 185-195 depending on the season and riding the SB66 back to back with the Spec. Enduro was just an eye opener. The SB has this "on/off" like suspension as if the switch-link has a magic spot where it can't decide if it wants to rotate forward or back allowing full travel. Next to the Enduro it's better for flat, smooth trails, but the FSR Enduro just slays it on the downs comparatively. Sorry, but the Switch-link is gimmicky IMO and I'm guessing it'll have reliability issues as its in a great place to get lots of grime that'll wear down the tolerances of that big puck (that's what happens when aluminum takes on grit). IMO there are just too many FAR BETTER AM bikes out there now to even consider the Yeti at that cost. Nicely made??? Sure, it's gorgeous and it's stiff as, but it's not all that great in the rear suspension department compared to the Enduro/Evo, Banshee Rune V2, Trans. Covert and Norco Range Killer B to name just a few of the great bikes out there... I like the geo and TT length, but it may not fit others very well (I'm a long legs med. torso build and it was close to being too long for me on a M frame). I ride VERY fast and in steep terrain and while I agree it opens up more in that respect it's not really a good suspension if you HAVE to be hauling that much ass on it to get any suspension feel and it flat SUCKED in technical stuff where speed isn't an option. Yeti won't be getting my money this year.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Solid write up. I just returned my SB66 to Competitive Cyclist (where I bought it... For a full refund no less. Definitely recommend buying from them!). Reason for retun: 4 pivot rebuilds in 11 months of use. The review points out that their bike didn't have any pivot problems, and I'm assuming I was unlucky... 4 times. If it weren't for the bad bearings (which aren't cheap- $150 per rebuild kit), the bike would have been almost perfect. I liked the geo and measurements a lot. Stable at speed for sure. the mid stroke suspension feel was not ideal. I've replaced the 66 with a Nomad c, and can say that, for where I live/ride (Andean big mt riding galore) the Nomad is a much better bike for my riding preferences. Obviously the SC carbon is a huge plus for the Nomad (vs the 66), but I also really appreciate the Nomad's/VPP's ability to eat up square edge hits and carry speed. I like it more in the air too. A huge + for SC is their lifetime bearing warranty, $50ish dollar cost per rebuild kit, and ease of swapping bearings vs the 66 (which requires much more di's and re- assembling than the Nomad). Solid review of a great bike, but load up on bearings if you plan on buying a 66.
  • + 2
 True, this bike eats bearings for lunch and most of of them are of odd sizes that you pretty have to get from Yeti and they only want to sell you a complete kit for $400. My only skepticism with the bike from the get go was bearings as I rode bushing bikes forever before with minimal maintenance and in the end the bearings lost and I went to a new frame as well. All with a handle at most of wet weather rides, no power washing and meticulosouly cleaning bike/pivots after and/before every ride.
  • + 2
 I too babied the bearings... Especially after the first rebuild. Ive seen comments that Yeti has addressed the bearing issues on the 66 from the '11 model, but my rebuild kits were from '12 and those kits always had 1 to 4 bearings go all grindy sloppy after 3-4 months. The riding here is dry without absurd dust... No muddy weather riding as the soil turns to Velcro each winter. Under these conditions, I expect more from bearings. I fully expect to rebuild bearings once every season or so- if I get more time out of a set, I consider it bonus time, so I don't believe my expectations are very high. In short, a bike can be the perfect bike, angles, stiffness, etc, but if you have a major problem like this... Forget it.
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  • + 2
 Looks really nice and the test seems very good but I would be worried about that big main pivet thingy ie maintaining it and cost when the bearing go . Kinder reminds me of a smaller version of the I drive that failed big time .
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  • + 2
 Given what Specialized and other big companies are charging for built bikes these days, I don't think $3400 for the Enduro build is bad at all. Just buy it and swap parts...selling wheels and a new Fox fork alone will get you a chunk of change back. I don't have much cash and got a frame only (sold a trail and 6" frame) and swapped X.0/X.9 parts over, gradually changing stuff as I got a better understanding of the bike's attitude. I've been most impressed with the SB's ability to keep the rear wheel tracking during rugged climbs and sprints out of the saddle. For years I've climbed seated, spinning away trying to compensate a bit for suspension activity. This is the first FS bike I've had where I actually prefer standing and hammering... it responds surprisingly quick at the pedals, yet the suspension remains active keeping your tire planted. That said, geometry is a big deal.... you have to like being low and long. I was between the Mojo HD and the SB and I liked the slack stability of the SB. If I were riding slower technical trails more often than faster open runs, I would have gone with the HD. The Yeti really does like to be ridden faster than a 'comfortable' speed... that's where you'll feel the the frame shine. It tucks so low on hard corners, feels like a luge run. It also provides a bit more pop than a lot of 6" bikes I've ridden which makes it a real blast on faster runs with rollers and drops. It doesn't manual as easily as the HD though, probably due to the wheelbase. Lots of strong opinions about this bike out there (lots of hype too). only way to know for yourself is to demo or borrow one. I love mine, replaced a Ciclon and a Kona AM rig in one shot and I'm happy I made the switch (pun intended) every time I ride aggressively... but that opinion shouldn't be worth much until you test for yourself.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Nice article Brad. Good job on pointing out the specific characteristics, ie. the virtues and liabilities of the design that make for an informed decision when considering the bike. I do have a couple of questions though. You didn't mention where the frame is made and I was wondering if Yeti is still producing them domestically? Has Yeti stayed true to their roots or have they followed the likes of Trek? Also, there was mention of a few other price points and a frame only option, and I was wondering what your opinion would be of the bike were it to weigh substantially more with a lesser parts spec.? Would the long wheel base and four or five extra lbs. make it a bit of a pig to finesse through technical terrain? Would you consider other offerings in the 150mm category first, if this bike were to come in closer to the 33-34 lb. speaking strictly from a value oriented perspective? If I was shopping for a $6,700 bike, the made in America label would certainly be the clincher.
  • + 1
 I, too, was curious of where the frame is made. There is not a sticker/decal anywhere that says "Made In ____". I would be surprised by the elaborate hydroforming if it is made in the US, but I thought products made outside of US were required by law to have a sticker for country of origin. Someone else feel free to chime in here if you know the answer. I was told by a Giant rep that Yeti's carbon frames are made in Asia by Giant.

Substantially more weight would kill the idea behind this bike. 2-ply tires, 6" coil spring fork, coil-over rear shock, it's all overkill for the purpose of the SB66. The base build kit isn't going to be 4-5 lbs more, but maybe 2-3. It's negligible. Mainly the function of the higher end components is what I enjoyed from the more expensive build. I don't think added weight from lower-end parts spec will make much difference in the handling of the bike. On the other hand, components that are heavier because they are designed to be more rugged are not a good match for this frame. SB66 will function best with XC-ish components.

Yes, a buyer should always consider multiple options and test ride each if they are available. The value is in the frame itself, with the integration of a unique suspension design and geometry. Consider that the price of the frame isn't drastically different than anything else on the market with a patented suspension. If a buyer's perceived value requires domestic production, the choices are extremely limited and should be quite obvious. But, of those choices currently available, there are other factors about a company that will offset that one desirable characteristic.
  • + 3
 "SB66 will function best with XC-ish components", "6" coil spring fork, coil-over rear shock, it's all overkill for the purpose of the SB66".

Disagree 100% and believe it is a common misconception of the sb66.

Try living with one, you'll soon find out what it's actually good/bad at.

I don't understand where this misconception stems from, please elaborate.

gp1.pinkbike.org/p4pb8976516/p4pb8976516.jpg

Mine for example, happing hucking to flat and chasing my friends on DH bikes.
  • + 4
 But yours has XC parts... XC wheels, cranks, air shock, etc. What exactly is it that you disagree with? If you see my statement as incorrect, then why is your bike not set up any differently?
  • + 1
 it's made in Asia, Taiwan I think. Yeti followed the likes of Trek...
  • + 3
 I guess what i disagree with is the bike simply being painted as a xc/trail bike, it's capable of a lot more than that, it doesn't seem to me you're pushing the frames "gnar" capabilities in the article and comments. Yea the bike obviously isn't in the same category as a bottlerocket, entourage or ns soda to make a few similar travel comparisons, i would certainly say in terms of capability for me, it falls into the same category as a covert, meta sx or nomad, something you can pedal and rag. I certainly see it as a more capable bike than pivot mach 5.7, stumpy evo and lapierre zesty for comparison which is where i generally see it pitched at.

I see it being measured as where you'd realistically happily pedal the thing, then comparing based on others that pedal to the same extent, rather than thinking right, i can rag this thing, o wait, i can pedal too.

For example " the long feel of the frame. makes the bike feel a bit awkward in the air, and places the SB66 more in the trail bike category", just buy based on geo? Im a medium, but went small, best handling mtb ive ridden in the air.

As for my build not being burly enough to justify my statements, i like light bikes for handling, i'll take the progressiveness of air for added bottom out along with the initial firmness for something to push off and pump, over the weight and minor suppleness gain of coil, i gave the coil/coil a go. Mine is a setup im more than happy riding where everyone else has the DH bike out.

At the end of the day though, in terms of capability, it's all down to the riders ability and comfort zone. If you need coil front and rear and burly wheels for that mental boost, fair enough, bolt them onto a sb, it'll be happy with it, it's geo, weight and stiffness is ready for it.

Obviously, this is all opinion, our opinions may conflict, it dont matter, its just chatting rubbish about bikes.
  • + 1
 As far as I know, Yeti, Trek, Cannondale, Canyon and a host of other brands are manufactured at the Giant facility in Taiwan. I found an article about it a few months back called "Giant factory tour" or something on a blog site. Very interesting. Ten years ago Taiwan would have been an accountant's wet dream. Lower costs and higher quality by switching manufacturing over here. Made in China is cheaper but still the quality is suspect. Give them ten years and all the bike factories in TW will close down.
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  • + 2
 If you can afford it, buy the carbon version in one size smaller than you normally ride. You won't regret it. The good news is you can sell off a bunch of your other bikes that you won't find yourself bothering to ride anymore.
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  • + 2
 It actually looks like a very nice bike to ride. Yeti do have some very strange linkage systems for the rear shock, though. I saw one that looked like it could have been a single pivot and there must have been 5 or 6 sets of bearings in it.
  • + 0
 The dh slidy bar is weird to, looks like it'd get sticky fast
  • + 1
 That the 303 one? With the sliding link right under the rear shock? Apparently they're quite good. I was told they even have an adaptor to apply grease with a grease gun or something. And they are sealed so no shit can get in there... Was talking to someone on here that used to have a Yeti 303. (Not sure of exact model name but it had 303 in it.) That looked like an interesting bike to ride too...
  • + 1
 Thought they weren't sealed and you just greased the bar, makes way more sense now! I'd definitely try out a 303 they look pretty good and the concept is cool.
  • + 0
 It is a cool concept. Never seen sliding parts (apart from the shock itself) on a suspension system design. I think they would have thought of that when they designed it haha. Though, what you just said to me is what I said to the guy that had the 303. Imagine the carnage if you just greased the bar. The dirt and grit would just collect and wear it out so quickly. You'd have to give it a wipe and a regrease after every ride. But during the ride with the constant movement and abuse from the terrain you're riding on is when it needs to be clean. Not afterward.
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  • + 6
 If I had to chose 1 of the "do it all " bikes this would be it
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  • + 1
 "Only on the steepest of climbs did the bike give the slightest notion of backseat driving, which usually led to us taking a brief, and usually welcome, out-of-the-saddle position."

If you can climb out of the saddle without losing traction, doesn't that mean it's not all that steep? Maybe I'm just particularly bad at out-of-the-saddle climbing.
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  • + 2
 size small with 23 inch top tube seems a bit long. for us shorter guys thats more like a medium bike. i'm 5'6" and the 22 inch top tube on specialized and intense bikes already feel long.
  • + 1
 Agree. I'm same height and for me 21.5 TT seems to be the sweet spot.
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  • + 2
 Am I the only one surprised by the comment on how often he dropped his chain with a Shadow Plus RD? I thought that eliminated that problem...mine has been perfect used in a 1x10 set-up.
  • + 1
 I would have taken the frame to a shop to check the alignment.
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  • + 1
 unfortunately i disagree completely. I've owned one of these and thought it was terrible, the rear end snapped, all the bearings needed replacing after 4 months and on heavy hits if you bottomed out the tyre would rub on the back of the seat tube despite running 2.1 tyre and with the shock all set up correctly. other downsides were its ride i found it didnt absorb small bumps very well and that its general tracking of the ground was sub par. On the up side it did climb very well and does look cool just a shame its a bag of shite otherwise
  • + 1
 Payner, that's too bad. It's a shame that they addressed all those issues in version 2.
  • + 1
 Sounds like you had the early generation version!?
  • + 2
 Bearings are still going well for me with a little tlc. I hear what you're saying about the shock though, I swapped it out for a ccdbair and it solved the problem..
  • + 3
 I would agree that small bump sensitivity isn't the best, which is why the bike excels when ridden quite aggressively. I would guess that payner's frame was completely different than the one we tested. The stock 2.35 rear tire never hit the seat tube. I was very surprised that the bearings all felt great despite months of rain and mud riding. Sorry that yours didn't work out.
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  • + 1
 I rode this bike during a demo in Steamboat, Co and the bike felt great but I agree the TT made it feel weird in the air, otherwise great bike, a 35mm stem may fix it while still allowing it to keep climbing well, good review,
  • + 1
 It is long... a Medium frame has a 24.1 inch top tube. Im sure they intend you to run something short for a stem without making things too crowded in the cockpit. But for someone like myself, who usually rides "Medium" with a 50mm stem, I would find myself test riding a small...
  • + 1
 Re what Yeti intends, their enduro build medium comes with a 75mm stem.
  • + 1
 Im 5'8" so id be a medium but on the short side of things
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  • + 1
 I demoed one of these on trail last year and loved it. It's out of my price range and way too much bike for me, but I remembered thinking that no 6" bike should pedal that well, and going down was a blast. if I had more money than sense there would be one of these in the garage.
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  • + 1
 Hi had the alloy sb66 for about 8months, was a great bike only my bearings needed changed and I put an awful dent at the yeti logo Frown

I have the carbon version now and I love it only I wish they came in xsmall , mine has xtr also and waiting on Thomson carbon bars

But can't complain really Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have owned this bike for 1 year. Rear swing arm cracked. Local dealers are ass holes and act like I am trying to steal from them with warranty. Bike rides well but is pretty heavy for the aluminum version. All the pivot bearings are very cheap and ridiculously expensive from yeti. Buyer beware! Another guy I ride with had the sb 66a and his swing arm cracked as well. You really should consider a different brand!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Bought my bike in late August and considered getting the Enduro but settled on the XT Race. Simply put I love this bike! Got a good deal on it from the local bike shop. I weighed 282 pounds when I bought it but now I weigh 230. I ride 3 times a week....never gave any serious thought into buying any other brand. I LOVE THIS BIKE!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Has anyone here ridden both the SB66 and Ibis Mojo HD? How would you compare them? A big part of this review was top tube length and that's definitely one of my concerns. There's an inch difference between the Ibis and the Yeti (in medium, 23.1 vs 24.1).
Thanks.
  • + 2
 You don't always need to get a frame based on sizing. Just look at the top tube length.
  • - 10
 i have ridden both, they both suck, dont bother with either
  • + 0
 I saw a review of the sb66 aluminum on youtube, it said that the sb66 was good, but the mojo hd did everything better.
  • + 2
 I tested a HD and no thanks! Feels like you are riding on top of the bike rather than in the bike like the review describes the 66! As for sizing, I personally like a longer bike giving me more room! The carbon Nomad I had felt too short and cramped!
  • + 2
 I keep hearing that about the HD -- that it feels like you are riding on top of the bike, or that it sits very high.
  • + 1
 It does sit very high. I solved that problem with mine by getting a dropper. Also run 30% sag too.
  • + 2
 My wife rides an SB66 and I ride an Ibis Mojo HD. I have ridden hers quite a bit and really like it, but I prefer my Mojo. Does that mean it's a better bike? No. They are equally awesome, high end rides that have slightly different personalities.
  • + 1
 I came of a giant reign xo and agree that the mojo HD felt a little high, but having ridden the mojo for six month with a dropper post I just don't notice anymore. The bike is amazing. Mojo hd, sb66, nomad e.t.c any of these bike are great bikes, we are so spoilt for choice.
  • + 1
 scottrallye,
What do you prefer about the HD over the SB66? Thanks.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Good review of the SB and fairly accurate. I owned and rode one hard for over a year on varied terrain (general XC/trail to light FR, Enduro DH) and it did well in most situations, but is definitely a trail bike class of bike or light all-mt. if you will at most (for a heavier rider at least). I had mine built pretty stout at just over 33lbs w/standard post (all air suspension) and 34lbs w/dropper post and bike did get ovewhelmed at times and longevity/durability of frame and bearings/pivots wasn't quite there for me despite it's relatively heavy frame weight for AM/trail bike.
  • - 1
 And yes, this bike is a bit too long in the tooth, mainly cause the seat tube angle being too slack to accomodate the very long top tube. I always rode bikes with 24" top tubes in the past (typical large size) and the medium was even a bit too long with 50mm stem and saddle pushed all the way forward. Due to long top tube and very slack seat tube, makes climbing and trail riding with 160 fork too slack and tall. I often would have to drop my fork to 130 to steepen things, lower the BB and steepen the seat tube angle a bit more for better balance and ride-ability on the trail while climbing and descending trail most of the times and just didn't feel right with fork in 160 setting even though the travel is warrantied in more aggressive terrain.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 That last picture is a nice one. All mossy with a decent looking drop on a good looking bike, cool. And I think the top tube on my Demo is shorter then this one, but my demos not 28lbs.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Mmmmmmm, how about the lifespan of the du bush's and bearings, Always good to know the life span before a rebuild is required.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Realistically is any bike worth almost $7000?? Its an absolute ripoff; outright theft! My motorbike which cost $7300 new has a 1000 times more engineering that has gone into its development compared to this bicycle. Just in material alone my motorbike is worth more than this bicycle. I also got carbon fibre, and titanium parts on my motorbike. Seriously, anyone spending more that $4000 on a mountain bike is a complete fool.
  • + 5
 Disagree. A $7,000 mountain bike cannot get much better, it is top of the line. An entry level mountain bike is around $2,000, for something completely decent. Your $7,300 motor bike is entry level. To make it top of the line, you could spend over $25,000. Oh, and you have to pay for gas to ride your bike Wink
  • + 3
 I doubt a $7300 motorbike has that much going into it and if it's carbon and titanium it's probably just bolts and fork covers, yes mtb prices are excessive but it's also a small sport with small brands and the prices won't get any better soon
  • + 4
 It really has less to do with engineering or development or materials and more to do with economics. Products cost as much as people will pay. And this is in the realm of what people will pay, like it or not. Also, volume is a factor. These bikes are produced at a much lower volume than motorbikes.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Under 28 lb aluminum 6" bike...nice job!
Even w/a dropper which is a no brainer, itll be sub 30.

Longer lower bikes with short stems is the trend no doubt.
  • + 1
 Somehow i'm really doubting that test bike is 27.5LB. Shame on PB for not actually weighing it.
  • + 1
 66A with a XT kit and dropper post is sub 30 with medium weight tires.. a XTR build with light tires should be well under 28 especially without a dropper..
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Been waiting for this review and its says everything I wanted it to say! I'm so impressed with my SB-66. Nice one brad.
  • + 1
 New you'd be on this one Smile
  • + 2
 I miss the days when a BW bike review came with a vidder. Still, I look forward to these.
  • + 1
 Brett, you know it bro. Been waiting for brads review for months now! You know how happy I am with my SB-66..! See you down the woods soon brother!
  • + 1
 How does it rides on ours muddy trails regarding tyre/mud clearance?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is my friends custom painted SB66 size medium, it did get posted on a few websites back in the summer! Rides really good, great bikes! just check the size before you buy!! www.pinkbike.com/photo/8498252
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I love my SB66 but the kit that came on mine needed some tweeking. Having said that, its the best bike I have ever owned.... Period
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Been waiting a long time for this review! Now to start saving even more for the carbon version? Any idea of the price for a lower end groupset, like an XT 2x10?
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  • + 3
 I love the way it looks. But that is about as close to one as I am gonna get I'm pretty sure...
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Would be great if they tested it out with coil shock and fork setup.
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  • + 1
 You all know this is about 3500-4000 pounds thats in the high range if a top spec am rig id rather something else but I like the idea of the long tt I think bikes are just going to keep getting more expensive
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  • + 1
 A really versatile looking bike, but I'm more than happy with my Yeti ASR 5, 140mm of travel, more than enough for my 62kg backside. Might invest in a enve wheelset.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Best Bike Ever. Haven't considered another bike since getting my SB66 last year. I would definitely consider selling the alloy frame for a carbon one some day.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Stoked that My dad just pulled the trigger on a SB66.. I hope to log some time on it.. Should complement my ASR-7 nicely..
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Love my 575 wish I could afford a sb66c but I would like to demo one first before trading in the 575......I also have a reign and after 2 or 3 rides went back to the 575
[Reply]
  • + 1
 As the price goes: Superbikes ain´t cheap. Good thing is that there are some great machines on the market for even 2000 USD.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Ok, I really want one of these, too. Why not? It will save me thousands by keeping me fit. That and my FitDesk and I can leave young forever
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Another excellent review B-Rad! Just look at the response. PB is fortunate to have you!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Good review Brad. I really like the look of this bike, but tell me, what is "deadly reliability"? Smile

Just saw that the TT is 25.9 on an XL??? Wow!
  • + 1
 Very reliable. Never had an issue with the bike. Just jump on and go!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 When are you guys gonna write a review of the Transition Covert Carbon??
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I still don't know what size I need. Without being able to demo this bike , I'm having trouble deciding on a medium or large frame . I'm 6' tall
  • + 1
 I'm 6" with 34" inseam, I ride a medium and its a pretty much perfect fit once you add a setback seat post. The large felt a bit too stretched out for my tastes, but yeah, you really have to demo them to know for sure.
  • + 1
 I'd guess that for 6' even, go Medium. I'm 6'2" and if I were to buy one would consider a Medium.
  • + 1
 At 5'11" I have spent time on the Medium and I know that the large would be too long for myself.
  • + 1
 Well it is looking like a med. thanks for all the input guys
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I want! This is my dream bike right here! Just perfect in everyway!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 6800 dollars and no hydraulic seatpost??????? Questionable.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm stoked with my SB66 that I built from a Frame set, all Shimano Saint (1x10) Components, Fox 36 Talas, DHXAir 5.0, with Mavic DeeMax Wheels, absolutely Incredible to ride!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Better spending all that money on a bike like that than spending on a Downhill which you use only for going down !
[Reply]
  • - 1
 i ride an ASR5 and i am completely in love with it as a do it all mountain biking machine, the bike is flawless in so many ways.... but this review sounds to much like a paid advert. honestly just looking at the bike "SB66" makes you want to ride it so why blow rainbows up everyones ass.
  • + 1
 I had an ASR5 before my SB66. Actually I had 2, for odd reasons.

I actually think the ASR5 is an objectively 'better' bike than the SB66. The ASR5 is so much better than the competition, it completely changes the concept of a 130mm trail/XC bike. The SB66 is very different, and still class leading, but I wouldn't say it's as far ahead of it's competetion as the ASR5 is.

Does that make sense?
  • + 1
 brit-100,

I'm on an ASR5C and thinking about switching frames to the SB66C. How would you compare the two bikes?
  • + 3
 Yeti says it best, the ASR5 is like a sports car. I've ridden both and the handling is very different to me, maybe I'm just a nitpicker. The ASR5C is a snappy, lighter frame, built more for something tougher than Cross Country but not quite enduro, steep uphills, but still gnarly descents. The SB66A (to me) feels more like a total enduro bike, built for speed on the downhills, but will eventually get you to the top too, it just takes patience. The SB66A (I haven't ridden the carbon version, so I won't make assumptions) is very stable at speed, the ASR5C responds more to rider input on the downhill and requires more finesse to ride the downhills. Hope it helps, if you want my overarching opinion, I would stick with the ASR5C unless you're doing some serious descents.
  • + 3
 Yep, I'd agree entirely with TheCOJayhawk.

The ASR 5 is a very fast 'A to B' bike for that area that spans XC and trail, but there is a limit to what it soak up on a regular basis. The geometry and handling add to up to ability beyond it's 130mm of travel. The SB66 will appeal to similar riders who want to push a bike hard, but it's ultimately capable of tackling far more rugged terrain. The trade off for that is more weight and less efficiency.

I would have happily stuck with my ASR5, but I wanted to get rid of the DH rig, and the SB66 allows me to run a 1 bike stable. There's literally nothing, no terrain (up, down or along) that I can't tackle on the SB66, whereas the ASR5 had a sensible/logical limit.
  • + 1
 Im considering a 66 but LOVE my ASR-7! Its such a fun bike to ride!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i can see this being my next bike... ...if i had money =[
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Im 6'2 and i ride a medium 303 for dh and im right in the middle of M and L for the SB66. Hope that helps
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How would you compare it to the Devinci Dixon? Seem like a very similar bike in terms of capabilities to me...Thoughts?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 No Sram XX1!? If you're gonna jump on the next piece of overpriced/under performing bling at least go all the way.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Just ordered a Rocky Mtn altitude 790... Can't wait.... I bet it will kick the yeti's ass...(in a nice way of course)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I wouldn't mind seeing a gif or video of the eccentric in action throughout the travel.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 It's weird that the word "stiff" has been mentioned so many times. So far the SB66 frame has been the least stiff 5-8" inch frame by far I've ever tested!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 2 of my friends have this bike but with XT components. I still prefer my carbon Jekyll.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wicked bikes,, my mate does 30ft drops on his SB66 !!! Stu con, my hero !!!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 the only thing "superbike" about it is the price, crazy $6300 is madness
I think the bike industry is getting way ahead of itself now in terms of pricing.
guess i'll just keep looking after and rocking my 6.6 then
  • + 0
 Basically, you're paying for the frame 2-3 times over right up front to take care of the warranty issues down the road.
  • + 1
 If you think 6500 is crazy. Don't bother getting involved in road bikes. We have a few guys riding 10k+ road bikes. And even specialized has a few mountain bikes that are 10k+..

the thing is you do that have to buy the xtr build. The x7 build costs half of what this cost.
  • + 1
 ^^, i know a guy who bought a Pinnarello Dogma (he's the kind of person who needs to show off to feel okay about himself) and i could whip him, on the road over 120+km on a single speed, seriously what for?
sure the new xtr looks the bomb and i've yet to ride it (personally love X0), i'm just wandering where these guys are finding the market?
the bike industry should be looking for ways to make all of this more accesible, more volume equals better profits?
I remember Scotts uber bike, the '09 Genius that weighed just over 11kg's for 6" of travel, know someone who picked up a secondhand one for R20k (they sold new here for R110k), i would never spend that much on something with such little return. second hand? deal!
  • + 2
 If you are satisfied with XO, better not try XTR, or even XT for that matter. Heck, even the SLX stuff is better than XO.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Now this is what I call a mountain bike!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Solid review. I've been attracted to a number of Yeti's over the years but sizing has never worked for me.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I rather be riding my tracer 2!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 this is the best enduro bike i have ever riden. its so smooth and stiff.

buy one NOW°°°!!!
  • + 0
 What are the other "AM" bikes you're comparing it to rigid CX bikes??? FSR/VPS > "Switch-link" hell even the single pivot Trans. COvert blows this thing away in the plushness department.
  • + 2
 no way dude, i´ve ridden some of those bikes, the sb66 is THE BIKE if you want an enduro. fsr is nice maybe a little bit plsher but not so stiff an good for uphills.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'd love to see a shoot out of all the current carbon bikes in this category
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Lack of cash is one of the reasons I am currently doing trials.
  • + 1
 like trials is cheaper?? my buddy does trials on competitive level, his one rear hub costs like half of my trail bike
  • + 2
 You can get a new decent trials bike for less than 900e. You'll have to double that amount for a trail bike,
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Still not sure if i would want a all mountain bike that's lacking in tight stuff a while airborne .. Covert for me .
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Love it, love it, love it!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 sb 66 OR Ibis Mojo HD????
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Such a Mean lookin bike! so sick
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I thought Fox 34s were 160mm not 150 like it says in this review!? Is this a modified version?
  • + 1
 Yeti shim their 34s down to 150m with their bikes. I think on the grounds that it complements the geometry better. As far as I know you can't get aftermarket 150 34s
  • + 1
 There is a spacer included to reduce the travel when you buy one aftermarket.
  • - 3
 No shims or spacers. Fox changed their Float air springs for 2013, so it's changing travel requires an entirely different spring assembly. The old method of reducing travel with spacers has been discontinued. It's a bummer from an adaptability point of view, but Fox says it makes for a more reliable and supple air spring.
  • + 2
 There is no different spring assembly, where did you get that from? All you have to do is change the bumpers that sit around the outside of the air spring assembly.
  • + 2
 I work for Yeti. I've had the 2013 forks apart myself.
  • + 1
 I may be wrong, But I know for a fact fox 831's use spacers, and my 2013 float has blue rings on the outside of the spring assembly. I give up...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Think I'll stick with my Tracer 2!
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  • + 1
 No video. I am disappoint...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Nice looking bike
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  • + 1
 Looks like a nice bike that I probably will never to be able to afford...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 another flat pedal test, cool i guess.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 for 3k my giant reign 2 with a van 36 kills this bike
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The best 160M that ever made.. I enjoyed every minute on it!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This or Enduro?
  • + 1
 This for sure......not a fan of fsr i have ridden a stumpy evo and like my 575 much more
  • - 1
 Seeing as you're in BC... (and James... these have nowhere near the same suspension as your 575 -sweet rig BTW- , the "switch-link" is garbage IMO, not to mention Ontario's terrain is completely different from ours in the NW)

Enduro hands down... unless you ride up A LOT and don't mind an inferior suspension on the downs ... I actually rode the SB back to back with a 2013 Enduro and the Enduro is just way more fun in every type of terrain but smooth pedaly stuff where the switch-link hangs up and almost feels HT stiff... The FSR puts power down real well too AND it brakes awesome. The Enduro is just about the perfect AM bike for my tastes (I've been on an FSR/VPS bike for a LONG time though so I'm more accustomed to the feel). Sorry, bt the Switch-link is just not all that great and FSR works better if you're more into going down fast. The SB is gorgeous and it IS very laterally stiff but the suspension is kinda ON/OFF and it flat sucks in slower tech stuff and never really feels as controlled through it's travel (I found the S to be either too stiff or too mushy once it switched into it's travel where the FSR just felt like it had better control over the spring rate through the travel). The Enduro will pop off things better and land in a more controled manor under neath me to the point where the Yeti just feels sloppy... Your results may vary, but here in the NW terrain I ride the Yeti is just out-classed in the suspension dept. by others (Rune V2, Norco Range, Trans. Covert... all better rides IMO).
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How would the carbon yeti compare to the Transition carbon covert?
  • + 2
 Get the Transition... simpler/better suspension, great company, lower cost.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Anyone selling a small SC Nomad Frame?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 quality looking frame
[Reply]
  • + 1
 7.5lbs for a trail bike? Shave some weight off that fat ass!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 good thing it wasn't the carbon one
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Why are these so pricey?
  • + 3
 Highly engineered tubeset with advanced patented suspension, offered by a small company.
  • + 1
 I know. ... quality always comes at a price ay!
  • + 1
 "offered by a small company" bingo
  • + 0
 I think they're just trying to recoup the R/D costs to work out a better suspension for the next model...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Came here for the pics.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Raddest bike ever.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 spot on ...there is a real issue with chain drooping i got accustomed doing DH rides chainless
[Reply]
  • + 0
 One of my favorite bikes
[Reply]
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